by Julia Thiel
Not sure whether that musty smell in your wine is a bad thing? The Chopping Block’s class "Wine Flaws (Or, What’s Wrong With This Wine??)" covers the how and why of wine flaws like TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole, the most common cause of cork taint), sulphur, vinegar, and oxidation. 6-7:30 PM, 4747 N. Lincoln, 773-472-6700, $65.
Pastoral’s day trip Down on the Farm heads to “the heart of Illinois’ sustainable agriculture” in Champaign-Urbana. After breakfast on the bus, participants will visit Urbana’s Market at the Square, one of the biggest farmers’ markets in the area. At Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery they’ll pick fruit and see how owners Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrel make their farmstead goat cheeses, then eat a lunch of locally produced food. Wine and cheese will be served on the trip back; the bus will drop people off at both Pastoral locations in the early evening. 7:15 AM pickup from the Lakeview store (2945 N. Broadway), 7:30 from the Loop store (53 E. Lake), 773-472-4781, $130.
Culinary Historians of Chicago present Bon Appetit Y'all: Stories From Three Generations of Southern Cooking. Virginia Willis, author of the book of the same name, will discuss learning to cook in her grandmother's kitchen as well as the agrarian traditions of the south. 10 AM-noon, Chicago History Museum, 1600 N. Clark, 708-788-0338, $5.
Entertainment at the sixth annual Wine Crush in Old Town includes a grape-stomping competition (teams of two compete to half-fill a wine glass), wine tastings, fashion shows, cooking demos, music, food from local restaurants, and a craft fair. 11 AM-10 PM, 1334-1600 Wells (between North and Evergreen), 773-584-6649, $5 suggested donation, $25 for ten wine tastings, $45 for unlimited "premium tasting."
The Andersonville Music & BBQ Festival features performances by the School of Rock kids, Devil in a Woodpile and others; barbecue and other food will be provided by Charlie's Ale House and Merle's #1 Barbecue. Noon-10 PM, 5500 block of N. Ashland, 773-714-1542, $5 suggested donation, free kids under 12.
The annual Mussels Festival starts today and continues through Sun 9/28 at restaurants belonging to the Chicago Originals association, including Cafe Matou, Cyrano’s Bistrot, Trattoria Roma, and Kiki’s Bistro; for the next couple weeks they’ll be preparing specials ranging from traditional moules marinier to steamed mussels “a la Tony Blair” to Caribbean-style mussels with curry, coconut, and cilantro.